Bidding madness riles locals at Blacktown Pound

Blactown Advocate;  19 Jan 10; CHRISTINE O’MALEY

 MORE animals are killed at Blacktown Animal Holding Facility than anywhere else in the state, yet it continues to use an archaic system where people have to bid to rescue a homeless pet.

The system allows the council to make money but puts some popular animals usually the cute puppies beyond the reach of an average family.

It also raises questions over whether it promotes pet adoption when the RSPCA has successfully opened its first non-profit pet shop at Rouse Hill.

Early this month, a little female terrier at the pound grabbed so much attention she was bid for by a dozen people and eventually sold for $400.

The Castle family, who missed out on the dog despite entering a bid of $150, 2 times the minimum sale price of $60, are outraged, saying 11 other dogs could have been rescued.

Instead, 11 families went home empty-handed.

“Our kids (aged 11, 4 and 22 months) were very disappointed,’’ Glendenning father-of-three Sean Castle said last Friday.

“They had picked out names.

“All we wanted to do was rescue a dog $400 to rescue a dog?

“You can buy a dog for that in a pet shop,’’ Mr Castle said.

A Blacktown Council spokeswoman said the bidding system was introduced to discourage semi-professional and backyard breeders who would go to the pound every morning and buy the desirable animals.

She said animals within the pound’s seven-to-14-day holding period could be bid for.

“When the animal is due out, the highest tender is contacted and offered the animal,’’ she said.

Cr Russ Dickens, a Blacktown vet, said the “worthless’’ system should be eliminated.

He introduced a no-kill policy late last year and said removing the tender process would help save animals on death row.

In 2008, 1419 dogs and 3146 cats were put down at the council facility.

“We don’t want to make money out of them,’’ Cr Dickens said. “We want to get them out of there and into a positive environment.’’

Another reader wrote to the Advocate online saying she was shocked when staff told her she had to bid on a staffy-cross puppy.

The Castle family eventually bought a cavalier king charles spaniel privately for $260 much less than they would have paid at the pound.

`It was an awful experience and we won’t go back,’’ Mr Castle said.

“It’s discrimination against people (on a limited income) who can’t afford to buy a dog, but who want to rescue a dog.’’

A council spokeswoman said the tender system was brought in to protect the average person.

“Prior to the introduction of the tender system semi-professional/backyard breeders would attend every morning on opening to see what animals were available to obtain,’’ she said.

“The average person who was unable to attend as regularly as the breeders would not have the same access.’’

At the animal shelters at Hawkesbury and Sutherland, there is no bidding system.

The RSPCA declined to comment on the bidding system.

To access original article, click here



Filed under NSW

6 responses to “Bidding madness riles locals at Blacktown Pound

  1. companionanimalnews

    Some comments psoted on the BA website in response to the article:

    “Blacktown Council should be very ashamed – it is absolutely ridiculous the conditionthese animals are in and requirements and procedures they have in place to re-home these animals. It is disgusting to see that they are not assisting to re-home these animals. They should charge a set fee (for every dog) which includes every dog being microchipped and de-sexed before they are taken home and that way every animal, no matter how cute, will have the same opportunity to be re-homed!” Nicole

    “Although I do not live in the Blacktown area I was informed of the council’s auction process re homeless dogs by a weekly newletter from Cumberland & Courier Newspaper and was appalled at this way of finding homes for these poor animals. The council say they do it this way to discourage backyard breeders but as has already been said, it is only necessary to desex the animals and this problem is solved. I would have thought that desexing and microchipping should be done before the animal is given to a family anyway. By the sounds of things the dogs live in appalling conditions (shame on you Council) and many families are unable to procure a pet because of this current system. Change your way of doing things, Council and you will find you will be able to find homes for many more dogs than is happening at the moment and you will gain more monetary wise as well.” Margaret

    “The pound needs an upgrade. It is depressing to see these poor dogs in these kennels cold in the winter stinking hot in the summer. Instead of trying to make money the Council should upgrade these facilities. These dogs don’t want to be there it is the fault of people who just don’t care irresponsible owners who will never learn. Have all these dogs & cats DESEXED! The RSPCA & rescues always have their dogs desexed, why can’t the Pound do the same. These backyard breeders will not be interested in any dog or cat when they know they are desexed. So that will be helping to put them out of business, as all they want to do is breed & breed until the dog is of no use to them. So come on Blacktown Council do something with our rates money. Upgrade the kennels at the Pound so that these dogs can have a little bit of comfort while they are there. And have All animals DESEXED.They can be done at the University, then a set price for dogs & cats to be adopted. Then your average family can afford to take a pet to a forever loving home. First in first served. No Tender system. Lets stand up for the dogs & cats. We have to do something to help these animals as they can’t do anything themselves. ” Jan

    “I lost my maltese cross to cancer last year, i had rescued him from the animal welfare league. I decided to get a dog from blacktown pound, as i wanted to rescue one that needed a home. I went there and found a dog that liked me, then i was told that you had to tender for him. I did not get him, as someone bidded higher. I did not want to go through this again, so i went to hawkesbury. I know have a great little dog that loves his new home. I wll not go to blacktown pound again. ” Brett

    “It is now that Cr Dickens, a vet, has the opportunity to bring this matter to council and introduce a mandatory desexing policy for all animals leaving the pound.
    Council could get a good rate from a local vet practice and add this to the price of the animal. I believe $300-$400 is a reasonable amount to pay for a desexed animal with a vet health check rather than people going to backyard breeders. ” Bill

    “I like many others in our area I spoke to, think the systems a JOKE. I approached the pound in mid October 2009 to save a dog from death row for my kids, only to be told I need to bid for a dog. I told the staff if I wanted to pay for a dog I’d buy one from a breeder… It was then explained to me if my bid was only a few cents short it would go to the highest bidder, therefore I’d have to explain to my kids daddy’s did failed & disappoint them.. My point is I was trying to educate my four kids about this unfortunate situation, instead the council wanted me to educate my kids in how to blind bid. Well I did pay $400 for a kelpie, but through a shop….. PS: I was not after a purebred but if have to pay I can afford it.” Mark

  2. Ken

    Of course all dogs sold should be desexed and microchipped, but Blacktown Pound’s bid system ensures that every dog can be saved for $60. The people bleating about the system are only pissed that their bid was not enough to win a particular dog. The dog was saved from euthanasure in each case. The other moron who thought the Pound should GIVE him a dog, then went out and bought one from a SHOP, is part of the problem, patronising BYBs and puppy farms. Almost 2000 dogs each year at BP do not get a bid, or a rescue by a rescue organisation, and are PTS. BP releases dogs that do not get a bid, to rescue organisations, free. Most Pounds charge between $200 and $400 for a dog, which can be too much for some families. At BP, such families will eventually get a dog for $60. The ones they do not win the bid on, will not be PTS. The system should save the lives of more dogs, compared to the usual fixed price system.
    But I say again, all dogs released should be de-sexed prior to release.

  3. companionanimalnews

    Sorry Ken, you are wrong about the aninals not being killed if they are not sold. I will send you last years BP statistics seperately. The bidding system is bad practice. Getting a pet should not be about getting one as cheaply as possible. If a person or family can’t afford $200 or more for the animal, then they are never going to afford to look after it properly for the rest of it’s life. In addition, a Pound needs a certain level of income to fund its efforts. Having said that, we are in favour of the elderly being able to rehome a cat or dog for a reduced fee.

  4. Ken

    Read it again. I did not write that dogs not sold are not PTS, I wrote that dogs that a low bidder missed out on were not PTS. If a low bidder misses out, that means a higher bidder won the dog, and it was not PTS.
    My “nearly 2000” figure was wrong, the correct figure is “over 1400”. Given that I wrote that so many were still PTS, how did you come to the conclusion I wrote that animals not sold would not be PTS?

  5. Animalia

    IMO, no Shelter or Pound should be selling dogs/cats undesexed, they are failing these animals not saving them. It should be illegal for them to do so

  6. Great Blog and info, thanks

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